ROBERT FRANK (1924-2019)
Covered Car, Long Beach, California, 1955-1956
gelatin silver print, printed later
singed in ink (margin); variously numbered in pencil (verso); credited, titled, and dated on affixed gallery label (frame backing board)
image: 8 1/8 x 12 ¼ in. (20.6 x 31.1 cm.)
sheet: 11 x 13 7/8 in. (27.9 x 35.2 cm.)

The Andrea Frank Foundation.
Robert Frank, Les Américains, Delpire, Paris, 1958, no. 34, p. 73.
Robert Frank, The Americans, Grove Press, New York, 1959, no. 34, n.p., and all subsequent editions.
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Lot Essay

Covered Car is one of the most recognized images from Robert Frank's seminal project The Americans. When Frank was awarded his first Guggenheim fellowship in the spring of 1955, he was the first European-born photographer to receive this honor. This fellowship, and the renewal he received in the spring of 1956, allowed Frank to create his book The Americans, a photographic work that would be, in his words, ‘the visual study of a civilisation’ and later in his application, ‘what one naturalized American finds to see in the United States that signifies the kind of civilization born here and spreading elsewhere’.
The initial critical reception of this brutally honest work about postwar America was harsh. The book itself pulled no punches; gone were the views of America seen through rose-colored glasses as offered in the main stream publications of the day. First photographers, and then others, came to embrace Frank’s book; in short, it resonated long and hard and held up under repeated viewings. It is now universally seen as one of the most important books of photographs of the 20th century, inspiring the past two generations of artists.

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